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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Mirror Traffic
Domino Recording Co Ltd / Playground

Last year Stephen Malkmus and Pavement reunited for a tour, which I guess made good cash, as well as promoting their best of collection, Quarantine The Past. A year on and Malkmus returns with his Jicks, presenting his/their 5th album Mirror Traffic.

As with Thurston Moore's Demolished Thoughts earlier this year Beck Hansen sat in the producer's chair. And, all of a sudden it strikes me, this sort of 'familiarity' between Malkmus' and Beck's music. Not that they do exactly the same, but many of their songs relate to the other artist. Even their vocals now and again cross paths. Take the song "No One Is (AS I Are Be)", which could've been a Beck song. The track "Senator" became quite controversial in the States, due to its lyrics: 'I know what the senator wants / what the senator wants is a blow-job...'. Like always with Malkmus (or like it was with Pavement) it's about making pop songs on the alternative side. Catchy, but twisted and strange pop songs tumbling against you. Like the press sheet perfectly describes the music: 'almost-pop songs'.

The album holds 15 songs, clocking at abut 50 minutes. And, believe me, there aren't many fillers. If none. Well, yes, there's a couple. Some of the better: the opening "Tigers" (very Pavement-sounding), "Brain Gallop", "Tune Grief", "No One Is (As I Are Be)", "Forever 28", "Fall Away" and "Stick Figures In Love". Mirror Traffic for sure is a cool ride. Imagine Malkmus behind the wheel and Beck as the map-reader.

Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks articles/reviews: Lariat, Wig Out At Jagbags.

© 2011 Luna Kafé